Copersucar sees 50% ethanol demand rise in U.S. with new E15 policy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil’s Copersucar SA, the world’s largest sugar and ethanol merchant, projects that ethanol demand in the United States could increase by 50% when the new policy to year-round sales of E15 is fully implemented, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Copersucar’s Chief Executive Joao Roberto Teixeira said in a call with reporters on Monday that the company sees strong potential for ethanol sales in the U.S., where it operates with its subsidiary Eco-Energy, in the next two to three years.

As MRC informed earlier, in December 2017, Copersucar, one of the world’s largest ethanol merchants, and BP’s Brazil unit said on Thursday they will form a 50-50 logistics JV in the country. The venture will operate Copersucar’s recently built ethanol storage complex in the Brazilian city of Paulinia, the country’s largest fuels hub.


Saudi Energy Minister hopes OPEC agrees to extend production cut

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday that OPEC would probably meet in the first week in July in Vienna and that he hoped it would reach consensus on extending its agreement to cut oil output, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Falih said earlier this month that OPEC was close to agreeing to extend the agreement beyond June, although more talks were still needed with non-OPEC countries that were part of the production deal.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus Russia and other producers, an alliance known as OPEC+, have a deal to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1. The pact ends this month and the group meets in coming weeks to decide their next move.

“We are hoping that we will reach consensus to extend our agreement when we meet in two-weeks-time in Vienna,” Falih told reporters on the sideline of a G20 energy and environment ministerial meeting in Karuizawa, northwest of Tokyo.

Asked when the meeting will be held, he said: “Probably the first week of July”. It was not completely clear whether the agreement would also include OPEC+.

OPEC was set to meet on June 25, followed by talks with its allies led by Russia on June 26. But Russia suggested a date change to July 3 to 4, according to sources within the group. Falih said that oil demand usually picks up in the second half the year, with refineries coming back from maintenance and with seasonal demand boost, and that the new agreement would help rebalance the market.

“I’m fairly confident that fundamentals are going in a right direction,” he said.

Clariant continues the advance of propane dehydrogenation technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a focused and innovative specialty chemical company, has announced the launch of its latest propane dehydrogenation catalyst, CATOFIN 311, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new catalyst continues the CATOFIN success with a solution that delivers even greater selectivity and a longer lifetime of service, resulting in increased overall profitability for propylene producers.

With over 60 years of continuously improved performance, CATOFIN dehydrogenation is a highly reliable and productive method for light paraffin dehydrogenation. The process operates at optimum reactor pressure and temperature to maximize conversion of propane to propylene, while reducing investment and operating costs.

As an ongoing commitment to advance catalyst technology, Clariant and its licensing partner McDermott’s Lummus Technology consistently improve the CATOFIN process with innovations such as Heat Generating Material (HGM) and new catalyst generations. Thanks to its extraordinarily high reliability and selectivity, CATOFIN delivers excellent production output annually compared to alternative technologies. Over the last two years, CATOFIN technology has been selected for 11 new PDH projects worldwide, resulting in a total of 7 million tons of annual propylene production capacity.

Now, CATOFIN 311 further enhances the proven benefits of previous generations through improvements in selectivity and longevity. For a typical 600 kta PDH unit, customers could benefit from increased productivity of up to USD20 million over the lifetime of the CATOFIN 311 catalyst.

Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager Business Unit Catalysts at Clariant, commented, "With the successful development of CATOFIN 311, we have reached yet another milestone in our advanced propane dehydrogenation technology. It is through this relentless commitment to innovation that we continue to add value to our customers’ businesses."

As MRC reported earlier, in March 2017, Clariant was awarded a contract by Dongguan Grand Resource Science & Technology Co. Ltd. to develop a new propane dehydrogenation unit in cooperation with CB&I. The project includes the license and engineering design of the unit, which is to be built in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, China.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

ORL delivers first cargo of IMO-spec marine fuel

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Israel’s Oil Refineries (ORL) recently delivered its first cargo of 0.5% sulfur content marine fuel, complying with incoming new IMO rules, a trading source said, as per Reuters.

The Haifa-based 197,000 barrel per day refinery loaded its first 30,000-tonne cargo of the ultra-low sulfur, 380 centistoke blend in late May, the source said.

Ships will be required to use fuels with a sulfur content of no more than 0.5% from the start of 2020, down from 3.5% currently, under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules aimed at cutting air pollution.

Several refiners have in recent months developed new marine fuels to comply with the new regulation as shippers are expected to start shifting to the new specification ahead of 2020.

Oil majors Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and Royal Dutch Shell have also said they are developing very low sulfur fuels to meet the 0.5% requirement.

Geely Automobile forms JV with LG Chem for car batteries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. and South Korea's LG Chem Ltd. have formed a joint venture to produce batteries for electric vehicles, reported MorningStar.

Geely's unit Shanghai Maple Guorun and LG Chem will hold a 50% stake each in the joint venture and its registered capital will be USD188 million, the Chinese carmaker said in a stock exchange statement.

The joint venture will leverage the expertise of both companies to manufacture batteries for new energy vehicles in China and ensure a stable supply in the future as the government stresses on reducing emissions, Geely said.

As MRC wrote previously, LG Chem is planning to spend USD2.4-billion to expand its naphtha cracking center (NCC) and polyolefin (PO) plant in Yeosu, South Korea. The project, which will expand the NCC and PO facility by 800,000 t/y each, is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021.

LG Chem Ltd., often referred to as LG Chemical, is the largest Korean chemical company and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. According to ICIS report, it is 15th biggest chemical company in the world in 2011. It has eight domestic factories and global network of 29 business locations in 15 countries. LG Chem is a manufacturer, supplier, and exporter of petrochemical goods, IT&E Materials and Energy Solutions.